Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Curse of Grady Little

Grady Little is the former Boston RedSux manager who left Pedro Martinez in during the Yankees' game-tying rally in game 7 of the ALCS. His curse -- now managers will yank starters too EARLY.

That's what current RedStanx manager Terry Francona did tonight. You see, the Yanks flat-out cannot touch knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. He stymied the Yanks all last season, won both his ALCS starts against them and beat them in the first Yanks-Redstifs meeting this year. Tonight, he had a 2-0 lead and had coughed up all of three singles going into the bottom of the seventh. After a hit batter, strikeout, stolen base, passed ball and walk, the Yanks had first and third with one out and Wakefield still looking OK. But Francona yanked him. One out, one walk and one more pitching change later, Tony Clark ripped a grounder that literally tore through David Ortiz's glove for a two-run error and tie game. In the 8th, the Yanks tacked on two more thanks to a single-and-error, sacrifice and a great battle by Gary Sheffield against Mike Timlin that ended up with a Sheffield double and Yankee lead. Ultimately, the Yanks won 4-2 and Rivera torched the RedSawx by whiffing the side in the 9th.

Three notes: (1) I like the attitude Sheffield brings -- fiery, tough, he whipped that game-winning double down the line, slided into second base, popped up and pumped his fist. Sheffield is the fire in the locker room that this team has needed for the past couple of years -- he's the only Yank to publicly acknowledge what everyone knew going into yesterday's game -- the Yanks needed to reestablish some pride in this series.

(2) Nice to see John Lieber straighten out a bit -- after five shaky games, he got his usual DP grounders, righted himself after giving up five hits to the first seven batters he faced and pitched credibly. Kudos to Felix Heredia who came in with bases loaded and none out in the 7th with the Yanks down 2-0 and getting a force-out at home, a too-short-to-score flyout to left and a whiff of Ortiz. Nice for the Yanks to win against the Sax when they throw their #5a pitcher against the Stanx #3.

(3) Good call by Jim Kaat and I wonder if Tony Clark had the same thought. Bottom 7, Timlin came in to relieve an injured Scott Williamson and because it was an injury replacement, Timlin could take as many warm-ups as he wanted. Kaat noticed that Timlin threw a bunch of practice sliders that were off-target so he guessed Timlin would start Clark off with a fastball to get strike one. Clark ripped that first-ball fastball through Ortiz's glove and now the Yanks are up 7.5 games.

Illegal Moore

I know Michael Moore is big and fat, but that does NOT entitle him to vote in both Michigan and New York. The Smoking Gun has details.

Nazi sympathizer

That is what Ralph Nader must be. At the least, he's a Jew-hater. Read this and see why.

Flak attack

Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, is as much a dyed-in-the-wool drinkin'-the-Kool-Aid Democrat as Hillary Clinton or the late Tip O'Neill. So it means something when Mr. Menino slams John Kerry and the Kerry campaign for kowtowing to an illegal union strike and refusing to cross a picket line to deliver a speech he had been scheduled to give to the US Conference of Mayors. What's even better -- Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (a Republican) stepped in and delivered a speech in Kerry's place.

JUNE 30, 1963

This is a big day in my life, even though it was more than 6.5 years before my birth.


On June 30, 1963, a moderately young PaMonk and a young MaMonk spoke their vows before a JP in New York. Unlike many couples where one or both persons travel for work or with friends or have had extended personal situations or have been apart for other reasons, MaMonk and PaMonk have actually been apart for fewer than 30 days in the 41 years since. That's love, devotion and (quite frequently) tolerance.

I love you Mom and Dad, Happy Anniversary.

Supreme Court Fallout

First, here's Andrew McCarthy on the mixed bag of results on the various detention cases the Supreme Court handed down Monday. Ultimately, however, the bag is not as mixed as perhaps the Wall Street Journal and even McCarthy himself would like to believe. Why? The Rasul decision on the Gitmo detainees -- it stood logic, precedent and statutory interpretation upon their respective heads. Here's McCarthy's view of the potential fallout:

Nevertheless, as manifested in Rasul, yesterday's case involving claims of foreign enemy combatants captured on faraway battlefields and held by the military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — an installation outside the jurisdiction of any U.S. court — the judiciary is no longer a neutral arbiter there to ensure that Americans get a fair shake from their government and its laws. Instead, it is evolving, or morphing, into a sort of United Nations with teeth. It has seized the mantle of international arbiter, ensuring that the world — including that part of it energetically trying to kill Americans — has a forum in which to press its case against the United States.

That last part is potentially disastrous. The notion that a foreign enemy combatant can have access to challenge US military decisions in US courts is both risible on its face and destructive of both the military's ability to carry out its operations and the Executive Branch's authority to conduct foreign affairs and protect the national security.

The Constitution enshrined civilian control over the military by establishing the President as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. It did not set the courts as controllers of the President or reviewers of the military's actions -- military actions instead are answerable to the President and Congress (power of the purse, control over the Uniform Code of Military Justice). The Supreme Court has more than blurred these lines, it has crossed them.

N.B. -- Professor John Yoo has a good op-ed in today's WSJ, but it's available on-line for subscribers only. Look for it on Opinion Journal this weekend.

The Empire Strikes . . .

Good to see the Yankees put a beating on the RedSux. Yesterday's game was the one the Yanks needed -- Yanks' best pitcher against the Sawx's struggling Derek Lowe, opportunity to negate some of the destruction the Sux created in their last trip to the Bronx, tonesetter, etc.

Best of all, the Yankee fan chant after Garciaparra booted Jeter's grounder in the fourth and Sheffield cracked a 3-run bomb to make it a 7-2 game = "Thank you, Nomar". Ha.

Next step for Yankees, repeating the process of last night and hanging a few more losses on the RedStanks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Hillary Clinton, socialist

Here's what she said at a Democratic fundraiser, according to this report.

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Vote Republican.

Steynism of the day

From Mark Steyn in the Daily Telegraph, commenting on Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9-11:

I can understand the point of being Michael Moore: there's a lot of money in it. What's harder to figure out is the point of being a devoted follower of Michael Moore. Apparently, the sophisticated, cynical intellectual class is so naïve it'll fall for any old hooey peddled by a preening opportunist burlesque act. If the Saudis were smart, they'd have bought him up years ago, established his anti-Saudi credentials, and then used him to promote the defeat of their nemesis Bush.

Honesty in the Sudan

Good to know the Sudanese government has nothing to hide. Check this out in today's WaPo, courtesy Instapundit:

ABU SHOUK, Sudan, June 27 -- The Sudanese villagers in this western region of Darfur were bombed. They were raped. Their huts were burned and their grain pillaged. Now, those who fled the chaos say they are being silenced.

The Sudanese government dispatched 500 men last week to this sweltering camp of 40,000 near El Fashir, capital of North Darfur state, the refugees and aid workers said. The men, some dressed in civilian clothes, others in military uniforms, warned the refugees to keep quiet about their experiences when Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan visit the region this week.

Darfur has been the scene of more than 16 months of conflict between residents of the region and Arab militiamen backed by the government. Aid workers say 30,000 people have been killed by the militia and more than 1.2 million forced to flee their homes.

What the Supremes hath wrought

Two views to start off on what the Supreme Court's various rulings in yesterday's detention cases will mean.

First, here's Robert Alt decrying (six of) the Supremes' inability to read a statute in the Rasul case.

Next, the Wall Street Journal weighs in by noting that although the Supremes created some chaos, the effects of the rulings can be contained by legislation and the Supremes did not go all the way by nullifying the executive's right to detain the various prisoners in the ways that it did.

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Supreme Court screws things up

The Court today handed down its decisions in three cases regarding the current war on terror: (1) the Padilla case where Jose Padilla claimed the government could not hold him indefinitely as an enemy combatant (he lost, but only technically); (2) the Hamdi case, where the petitioner (a US citizen) claimed he had a right to challenge his enemy combatant status after being captured fighting against US forces in Afghanistan (he won) and (3) the Rasul case, where the Guantanamo Bay detainees sought the right to flood the US courts with habeas corpus petitions for their release (they won).

The Rasul case is the worst loss for the Administration and is a colossal screw-up by the Supreme Court. Here is the Opinion and the dissent. The case turned on distinguishing a valid 50-year old precedent on weak grounds. Here is the key quote from the dissent that sums up both the effect of the holding and its problems:

The reality is this: Today’s opinion, and today’s opinion alone, overrules Eisentrager [the earlier precedent -- TKM]; today’s opinion, and today’s opinion alone, extends the habeas statute, for the first time, to aliens held beyond the sovereign territory of the United States and beyond the territorial jurisdiction of its courts. No reasons are given for this result; no acknowledgment of its consequences made. By spurious reliance on Braden the Court evades explaining why stare decisis can be disregarded, and why Eisentrager was wrong. Normally, we consider the interests of those who have relied on our decisions. Today, the Court springs a trap on the Executive, subjecting Guantanamo Bay to the over-sight of the federal courts even though it has never before been thought to be within their jurisdiction—and thus making it a foolish place to have housed alien wartime detainees.

UPDATE: No one can accuse James Taranto of burying the lede. Here's his formulation:

The U.S. Supreme Court handed Osama bin Laden a victory this morning, ruling that terrorists and Taliban held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to sue in U.S. courts. "Military officials and lawyers for detainees . . . are bracing for an explosion of litigation," says the New York Sun. Our ambulance-chasers might want to reflect on just how apt a metaphor that is, since Islamist terrorists are known to use ambulances as weapons.


With election season fast approaching, I decided to link the Center for Politics Crystal Ball -- a politics-watching website that follows the various races (senator, governor, president) and opines on the likely outcome. The Center is run by University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, who we knew as "dial-a-quote" when I was at the University because Sabato loves to put in his two cents on political events. The link is at the left under the News and Opinion section, and can also be clicked here.


Michael Moore is an unrepentant liar, he distorts facts, omits those that do not support his thesis and presents false conclusions. Anyone who has ever examined his work knows this.

For that reason, this site is immensely important. The site is called Fahrenheit Fact and its purpose is stated as:

This is not an opinion blog- it is a fact one. We make sure to source every post, and will either cite or link to the source of the provided fact. It is our desire to see a well-armed populous that is ready to evaluate the film from an informed perspective.

Obviously, if the Fahrenheit Fact blog were only a Greek chorus for Moore, it wouldn't be important because you could just read Moore's own site. But Fahrenheit Fact at least endeavors to present facts, not masqueraded opinions like Moore himself does.

Financial cavalry

The left has billionaire George Soros -- the morally vacuous Hungarian Jew who remembers the summer of 1944 (in Budapest) as one of the happiest times of his life (I've written about Soros's insanity here) -- and the right now has a billionaire contributor of its own, Sir John Templeton, who just contributed $1,000,000 to help get out the vote of religious conservatives.

Iraq -- two days early

Acting one step and two days ahead of the Islamicist nutters, whom the press expected would launch a new round of violence Wednesday, the US formally returned sovereignty to the Iraqi people earlier today. The handover ceremony was private, with only about 30 people in attendance, according to the NY Times report linked above.

This is fairly slick on the part of the US, and smart on a number of levels: (1) internationally, Iraq is now for the Iraqis -- therefore it's not some American imperialist effort or a manifestation of US unilateralism; (2) politically, Pres. Bush has made and kept his promises to the Iraqis and the UN, and has done so ahead of schedule; (3) geographically, the US has proven that a democracy (of sorts) can be erected in the sands of Arabia; (4) strategically on two levels -- the defusing of the potential coordinated attacks designed to foil the June 30 handover and the defusing of the domestic political whining that would accompany such attacks if they occurred.

Moreover, the Iraqi government is more likely to crack down on Islamist and Sunni/Baathist nutters because: (a) they don't have to worry about the same politically correct pieties that the non-Muslim coalition troops would concern themselves with; (b) the Shia majority that had been oppressed by the Sunnis and Baathists since before Saddam's accension will not put up with Sunni/Baathist agitation; (c) ownership theory -- the Iraqis are now in charge of their own homeland, therefore they will take care of it against enemies within and enemies outside (like the Iranian and Syrian backed al-Qaedans).

Good luck and congratulations to the Iraqi people.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

From the Monk's keyboard to media ears?

OK, it's not the Power of The Monk, but perhaps the press is feeling its proverbial oats. After getting a judicial nimrod in California to unseal the private divorce records of Jack and Jeri Ryan, Matt Drudge reports that the press is seeking to unearth the details of John Kerry's divorce, which is also rumored to have been acrimonious.

Sudan's ethnic cleansing

In the Sudan there is a group called the Janjaweed. It is a militia of Arab Muslims backed by the Sudanese government that attacks black villages, kills the males and sends females and children into slavery. Sudan has long been in a civil war between the Arab-Muslim government in the north and the Christian and animist blacks in the south as the Arab government has moved towards establishing shari'a.

I blogged about this earlier here.

This Website has tremendous detail and has followed the situation closely as the US seeks to put pressure on Sudan and acts more strongly than the usual mumbled pieties from the UN. And Nicholas Kristoff of the NY Times has chronicled this situation in his last four columns, the two most recent are free.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Bill Clinton, printed bloviation

Mark Steyn rips Bill Clinton's memoir with his usual flair.

Here's the best part:

Mr. Clinton is certainly thinking of his legacy. The index lists more pages for "bin Laden, Osama" than "Jones, Paula," which isn't how it seemed at the time. You can't blame the poor fellow. As things stand, you'd be hard put to devise a more apt personal embodiment of the long holiday from history the U.S. took between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the World Trade Center. If geopolitics is the Super Bowl, Mr. Clinton is Janet Jackson, complete with wardrobe malfunctions.

And another one gone, redux

Israel nailed 6 Palestinian terrorist leaders today, including the West Bank leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, four other al-Aqsa members and a Hamas terrorist. Details here.

Friday, June 25, 2004

McCarthy 1, Old Gray Lady 0

The New York Times, America's paper of record, the beknighted institution, All the News That's Fit to Print, etc. etc. etc. seems to have deceived its readers.

You see, last week the Times trumpeted a misleading summarization of the 9-11 Commission staff report on Al-Qaeda by posting a front-page headline "No Qaeda-Iraq Tie." Along with the front-page story, the Times ran an editorial excoriating the Bush Administration and questioning the basis of its attack on Iraq.

Today the Times ran a story regarding a Defense Intelligence Agency document that shows Saddam reached out to al-Qaeda in the mid-90s. But the Times had this information when it ran the story claiming no connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam. In other words, the Times knew of information completely contrary to, and which disproved, its editorial line and the 9-11 Commission report and refused to run it.

Andy McCarthy rips the Times over this and explains how pernicious the Times is:

Why is this important? Because it is the continuation of a pattern — another instance of an effective but misleading tactic repeatedly used by the Times, the intelligence community, the 9/11 Commission staff, and all the Iraq/Qaeda connection naysayers. To wit: When they can't explain something, they never say they can't explain it; they say it didn't happen — even if saying so is against the weight of considerable counterevidence.

* * *

We know there were numerous contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after the collaborative proposals discussed in the newly reported document. How does the Times know that Saddam never responded to bin Laden's overtures? It doesn't. Neither do I. Neither do you. That's why it's called an investigation. The idea is to keep digging until you know. To the contrary, the Times's idea is: bury it, pretend you don't even know the things you do know, grudgingly admit the bare minimum, and use the enormous weight of your own inertia to make the whole thing go away.

Read the whole thing.

This week's sign of the apocalypse

America Coming Together -- a group founded by anti-American quintillionaire George Soros and "is stocked with veteran Democratic political operatives" -- used felons to go door-to-door to sign up voters in a voter registration drive. Here's the main finding in this AP article on ABC News:

A review of federal campaign finance and state criminal records by The Associated Press revealed that the names and hometowns of dozens of ACT employees in Missouri, Florida and Ohio matched those of people convicted of crimes such as burglary, forgery, drug dealing, assault and sex offenses.

Essentially, ACT is sending burglars, violent criminals and sex offenders (read: ultra-high recidivism rate) to your house to discuss politics. Oh and the forgers are not your best option either because the workers are supposed to get personal information (name, age, SOCIAL SECURITY #, etc.) from you.

A memo is just a memo

Andy McCarthy lambastes the media for overhyping the memo -- you know, THAT memo from the Defense Dept.'s legal counsel office that examined what is, what is not and what could be "torture" under international law.

Here are a couple of his key points:

Without a violative action by the president and his top aides, this is a kerfuffle invented by people with too much space and air time to fill who know that scandal is what sells. You would think that with a war going on, Iraqi sovereignty about to revert, and a beheading by jihadists every week or so, someone might question the news judgment of turning into a story the thought processes of advisers to officials who haven't been shown to have misbehaved.

* * *

Just because a newspaper may freely slant its reporting to suit an agenda doesn't mean everybody has that luxury. The Times can afford to be wrong; a president conducting a war against an enemy whose primary tactic is to kill as many civilians as possible cannot.

Go Big Orange

Home Depot will donate $1 million in tools and equipment to the military in Iraq. According to this story, Big Orange has 1,800 employees serving the US military.

Rich white men and their follies

Today's EU Constitution bashing, courtesy of Rich Tucker.

Michael Moore is a liar

In honor of today's opening of the compendium of falsehoods that is Fahrenheit 9/11, read this from the neutral rhetoric-debunkers at regarding Bowling for Columbine.

Here's the key concept:

Satire is not an excuse for dissembling. Great satirists like Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain used hyperbole as a form of social criticism. Michael Moore, however, uses lies, distortions, and nonsensical arguments to mask cheap attacks and promote his own political agenda. Take him seriously at your own risk.

Here is Spinsanity's full coverage of Moore's lies. I think it's interesting that all three Spinsanity contributors have written articles slamming Moore.

Privacy rights and public office

This piece on the Weekly Standard's website is funny. It's about the Jack and Jeri Ryan divorce. Jack is running for the Senate as a Republican from Illinois -- which has a tattered Republican organization. Jeri is the buxom and leggy actress who played a teacher on Boston Public after her role as Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager. They have a nine-year old son, for whose benefit they had their divorce papers sealed. The Chicago Trib and a Chicago TV station sued to unseal the divorce records; Jack and Jeri both opposed, but who cares about their privacy when there's some dirty laundry to air out? Thus, hishonor unsealed 26 of the 44 documents (or parts thereof) and the press dug in. It found that Jeri accused Jack of taking her to sex and swingers clubs and wanting her to perform sex acts in public, which she refused. Jack denied all those allegations.

Here's the reason this whole situation is horrendous from a legal standpoint: the press has no right to the documents. Even in the US, with our First Amendment's Free Press Clause, the press' interest in any given subject is determined by the "people's right to know." An ambiguous term that is routinely stretched beyond recognition by the press itself. But basically, the right to know is coextensive only with information that is public. Private information is not within the "right to know".

In determining that the records from the divorce should be sealed in the first instance, the judge signing that sealed-records order determined that the Ryans' interest in their privacy and the protection of their child outweighed the public's right to know the dirty details of their divorce. That was the right call then, it would have been the right call now.

And all this begs a question -- if Jack Ryan's divorce is fair game, is John Kerry's?

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Be sure to check out the Point of Law blog by the Manhattan Institute, which includes bloggers Walter Olson, Jim Copland and Ted Frank. This blog is more commentary heavy and challenges how legal issues are reported in the mainstream press. Olson and Frank also run, a libertarian site that chronicles how the US legal system's excesses hurt businesses, consumers and negatively impact American freedom.


What did I say yesterday about the "Anonymous" book on the war on terror and how the press would spin it?

Check this out from the Media Research Center:

An “anonymous” CIA officer who was demoted from the position of leading the tracking of Osama bin Laden, lashed out in a new book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terrorism, at both the administrations of Presidents Clinton and Bush. But in jumping on the book’s criticism of going to war in Iraq, the networks on Wednesday night concentrated their stories on his attacks on the policies pursued by President Bush. Only NBC’s Andrea Mitchell gave a sentence to his criticism of how the Clinton administration didn’t take seriously the hunt for Osama bin Laden and only CNN’s David Ensor, in outlining what U.S. policies the author says bother bin Laden, such as demanding low oil prices, noted that he suggested something which is an anathema to liberals: Drilling in ANWR.

As an added bonus, scroll to the bottom of the MRC's report and you get yesterday's Top Ten list from Letterman: Top Ten Things Overheard at the Clinton Book Signing. The list had PoppaMonk guffawing on his couch.

Novak to Bush supporters: relax

Robert Novak says that the Republican attack ads, Bill Clinton's resurfacing and Kerry's miscalculations regarding John McCain have contributed to minimize the damage Pres. Bush has suffered over the past 5-6 weeks and prevented Kerry from obtaining a lead in the presidential race.

But Kerry is more than just the vacillating opportunist that the RNC has portrayed him as. He is feckless, intentionally misleading, and derelict in his duty. To date, there have been 135 votes in the Senate, Kerry has made 18. I LIKE the fact that the Republicans screwed Kerry yesterday when Kerry came to Washington to vote for a veterans' benefits package in order to show the support for the vets that Kerry failed to exhibit in the 1970s (and '80s and '90s, etc.). When Bob Dole ran against Clinton, both men had to do their day jobs -- Dole as Senate leader, Clinton as (useless) president. This year, Kerry is on extended vacation while Pres. Bush is still leading the free world.

Media bias alert

It's pretty horrendous that CBS devoted a full 60 Minutes episode to Dan Rather's fawning interview of Clinton. In fact, of all the reviewers, he's probably the only one who liked Clinton's memoir, My Life.

But here's what is worse: CBS is actively profiting from the book because it has partnered with Amazon to sell the blasted thing. CBS has a link on its website to the book that takes you to Amazon's listing. If you buy the book, CBS gets a referral fee. So CBS not only gave an hour-long promo for free, but is actively hawking a book by a liberal former president. See anything wrong here?

Here are the details, from a CBS watchdog,

The most forthright butt-whipping a reviewer gave the book is from the NY Times' reknowned shrew Michiko Kakutani.

Kakutani tends to be somewhat liberal, but she will give anyone a whacking if they deserve it, and praise when it is due -- see her reviews of Edmund Morris' ridiculous Dutch, Frank McCourt's excellent Angela's Ashes, and McCourt's not excellent 'Tis.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


But this will get the wrong spin in the press, and it already has.

A current CIA official has a new book that will soon be released that is critical of the Bush Administration's approach to both Afghanistan and Iraq. It is being released anonymously because the official is still with The Company and because the CIA does not want him or her to be in danger from the bin Ladenistas. Here is the article from Agence France Presse. Here is the headline on Yahoo! News: "Book by CIA official slams US war on terrorism, Iraq".

Now what did that headline make you think of -- (a) a criticism that the war on terrorism is immoral, spawns new terrorists or is just some US powerplay; (b) a criticism that the war is US imperialism run amok; (c) the author would generally agree with Michael Moore and his upcoming movie; (d) all of the above.

The answer is that the headline is deceptive. The CIA officer is slamming the war on terror because it is a "war on terror" -- instead, the phrase itself covers the fact that, according to the officer himself, "[w]e are fighting a worldwide Islamic insurgency -- not criminality or terrorism -- and our policy and procedures have failed to make more than a modest dent in enemy forces."

In other words, the root of this evil is in Islam itself -- but the officer won't make that value judgment. Instead, he blasts the Iraq war as imperialism while noting that the threat from radical Islam is rooted in policies and actions in the Islamic world. In other words, the US should be fighting radical Islam. And radical Islam is rooted in one place, from which it has spread throughout the Muslim world -- Saudi Arabia.

Watch the media on this issue because it will stress the imperialism/engendering new terrorists line (which I think is a crock/crock) without mentioning the radical Islam dimension nearly as prominently.

Media bias -- the truth that won't go away

A new study of media bias is startling for what it reveals about the media compared to some liberal havens -- i.e., the media may even be more Bush-hating than Berkeley, California or Cambridge, Massachusetts. The study examined thinktanks that the media quotes or uses as sources because those groups have their own biases that can support or negate a certain slant in a story and compared those quotes with the sources Congress uses.

Here is Andrew Sullivan's take (go to his website and scroll down):

The authors see which think-tanks are cited by which newspapers and media outlets and they compare them with citations by members of Congress. In a very closely divided House, this makes some sense. And the results are that the press isn't just slightly to the left of the American middle - but wildly out of sync . . . Then there's this arresting passage:

These statistics suggest that journalists, as a group, are more liberal than almost any congressional district in the country. For instance, in the Ninth California district, which includes Berkeley [read: UC-Berkeley], twelve percent voted for Bush, nearly double the rate of journalists. In the Eighth Massachusetts district, which includes Cambridge [read: Harvard U.], nineteen percent voted for Bush, more than triple the rate of journalists. In the 14th California district, which includes Palo Alto [read: Stanford U.], 26 percent voted for Bush, more than four times the rate of journalists.

Of course none of this matters, because as Sullivan notes (sarcasm in original): journalists are uniquely virtuous individuals and never let their internal views dictate the content, placement or subject-matter of stories.

Yeah, right. And the BBC is more pro-Israel than the Jerusalem Post.

While you're at, I own a bridge that you can get a good price for . . .

The real reason for the Iranian seizure of British ships

Iran seized the three British ships that were trolling IRAQI waters, and took the 8 Brit sailors hostage, in an attempt to swap the sailors for 40 suicide bombing recruits held by Ukrainian forces that are part of the US coalition in Iraq. Read this report, courtesy of the indispensible Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

MEMRI is a non-profit group that translates speeches and articles appearing in Arab and Middle Eastern media into English. It has been denounced by the Palestinian Authority and numerous Arab states as a Zionist tool, but the accuracy of its translations has never been challenged. You can go here to learn more about MEMRI, and even donate.



The Huns have been conquered.

Euro 2004, Germany in desperate need of a win to get out of group play and go into the "knock-out round" (European for "playoffs") and playing a Czech squad primarily made up of Czech second-stringers because the Chex had already clinched first place in the group. Meanwhile, Netherlands had a match-up against relatively weak Latvia. Result: the Dutch rout the Rigans, the Chex clout the Klauses and the Germans are heading home humiliated.

A nice day in Portugal, I think.

Note that I really don't like soccer (that's American for football) -- too little scoring, horrendously corrupt and/or inept refereeing, an ingrained tendency to play not to lose, a colossally stupid way to decide games in knock-out situations (penalty kicks), and entirely too much exhilaration derived from mundane occurrences (picture every Brit broadcaster you've heard exclaiming about "a lovely bit of play in that sequence"). Nonetheless, when it comes to the Euro championships or the World Cup, I'm interested because of the geopolitical rivalries and the historical interplay between any two countries.

Moreover, I can almost always pick a side that I want to win or a reason to root against someone: i.e., Argentina v. Romania = Nazi safe-haven versus Communist victim, we go with the Commie victim; England v. France = Nazism and Communism fighter v. Nazi-collaborator and America-hating, we go with the Brits, natch. When you put it in that context (and the soccer-loving world usually does), soccer can be great fun. Like when the Germans lose . . .

Ahead of the curve

Some folks are just ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to strategic thinking. One of those people is columnist Mark Steyn. The proof? This answer to a complaining letter writer who took a jab at President Reagan's Central America policy. And because Steyn is both two steps ahead of the letter-writer, and a step ahead of the rest of the world, he can link Latin America of the 1970s to the Middle East of today:

. . . even by the most pessimistic reading, an area [Latin America] that 30 years ago was wall-to-wall dictatorships is now overwhelmingly democratic. Whatever the continent’s fate, it won’t include a return of the puffed-up bemedalled El-Presidentes-For-Life, like General Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, who abolished Christmas and banned Donald Duck.

That’s what makes Latin America relevant to the Bush project in the Middle East. For much of the last century, the region was mired in the same dead-end victim complex as the Arab world. The celebrated Brazilian sociology professor Fernando Henrique Cardoso was a famous proponent of “Dependency Theory”, which blamed the woes of everybody south of the Rio Grande on Uncle Sam, in much the same way that Arab regimes, invited to explain why they’re sewers of corruption and brutality, bore on about the Great Satan and the Zionist Entity.

In the Seventies, the west’s foreign-policy elites were happy to take the losers at their own estimation: just as the so-called “realists” insist today that Islam is incompatible with liberty, so three decades ago there were wise old birds who said the same thing about Catholicism. Easy to scoff now, but back then, remember, the dictators ruled not just Latin America but also Spain and Portugal. Cultures can change.

Article of the Day

Bret Stephens, the editor of the Jerusalem Post, wrote an essay on perspective and the need to maintain some semblance of perspective in the face of today's dangers. He excoriates Paul Krugman, Al Gore and Sid Blumenthal for their unhinged attacks on President Bush and the US operations in Iraq.

Here are the key points, with added emphases:

[Blumenthal has written that] President Bush today runs "what is in effect a gulag," stretching "from prisons in Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantanamo to secret CIA prisons around the world." . . .

In another column, Mr. Blumenthal compares the April death toll for American soldiers in Iraq to the Eastern Front in the Second World War. Mr. Bush's "splendid little war," he writes, "has entered a Stalingrad-like phase of urban siege and house-to-house combat."

The factual bases for these claims are, first, that the U.S. holds some 10,000 "enemy combatants" prisoner; and second, that 122 U.S. soldiers were killed in action in April.

As I write, I have before me a copy of "The Black Book of Communism," which relates that on "1 January 1940 some 1,670,000 prisoners were being held in the 53 groups of corrective work camps and 425 collective work colonies. In addition, the prisons held 200,000 people awaiting trial or a transfer to camp. Finally, the NKVD komandatury were in charge of approximately 1.2 million 'specially displaced people.' "

As for Stalingrad, German deaths between Jan. 10 and Feb. 2, 1943, numbered 100,000, according to British historian John Keegan. And those were just the final agonizing days of a battle that had raged since the previous August.

* * *

The absence of proportion stems, in turn, from a problem of perspective. If you have no idea where you stand in relation to certain objects, then an elephant may seem as small as a fly and a fly may seem as large as an elephant. Similarly, Mr. Blumenthal can compare the American detention infrastructure to the Gulag archipelago only if he has no concept of the actual size of things. And he can have no concept of the size of things because he neither knows enough about them nor where he stands in relation to them. What is the vantage point from which Mr. Blumenthal observes the world? It is one where Fallujah is "Stalingrad-like." How does one manage to see the world this way? By standing too close to Fallujah and too far from Stalingrad. By being consumed by the present. By losing not just the sense, but the possibility, of judgment.

We won, will it make the news?

From Rowan Scarborough, one of the best military reporters in the field, comes this report of how the US Army wiped out the offensive capabilities of Muqtada al-Sadr's "army".

Let's see if this plays out anywhere other than Brit Hume's show . . .

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Welcome to America

Jose Contreras has made no secret that his family's absence affects him daily. He is the Cuban pitcher who defected to the US in 2002 (although he technically first established residence in Nicaragua) and was signed by the Yankees thereafter. Today he received news that his family (wife Miriam Murillo-Flores, daughters Naylan and Naylenis) had fled Cuba and landed in Florida! Under a US-Cuba agreement, Cuban refugees who land on US soil can remain as legal immigrants; Cubans found by the US Coast Guard at sea are repatriated to Cuba.

Bienvenido a los Estados Unidos, la familia Contreras.

Clinton Classic of the Day

Courtesy National Review Online's The Corner, this Clinton Classic:

From last night [on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart]:

Clip of Clinton on 60 Minutes: I think if Ken Starr didn't run the investigation, I would have confessed.

Stewart: Let me get this straight...if you weren't investigated, then you would have come clean? That's what I love about Clinton: he has the highest integrity when the situation is at its most hypothetical.

Fall from grace

Remember Irish swimmer Michelle Smith? Pretty little redhead who went from mediocre to multiple gold medalist at the 1996 Olympics thanks to a workout regimen that included (in all likelihood) steroids from her paramour Erik De Bruin -- a Dutch weightlifter who was suspended for his own steroid use. As late as 1993, Smith had not ranked in the top 25 in any swimming event, her 400m freestyle time dropped 19 seconds in 15 months and her rise to the top occurred at age 26 -- usually a time when such athletes are in decline. Ultimately she honked a urine test, was suspended for two years and had her medals stripped. Lisa Olson has this profile. Here is her description in the Swimming Hall of Shame (#82):

MICHELLE SMITH (DE BRUIN) (Ireland) tested positive for sample manipulation on 10 January, 1998 at her home in Kilkenny County, Ireland. Lethal levels of supplemental alcohol (the testing level is in excess of 100 mg/ml) were recorded. Unofficial reports indicated that there were also traces of a "banned substance." After requesting the B sample to be assessed at a different laboratory (Barcelona) in the presence of her legal representatives, similar signs of manipulation were revealed. Traces of artificially produced testosterone were also discovered but since the test that located the substance has yet to be "recognized" the testosterone will not be officially reported. De Bruin was banned for four years by FINA (August 7, 1998). A story in the Sydney Morning Herald (August 8, 1998) by Jacquelin Magnay reported that at the original unannounced testing testers were kept waiting for a half-hour at the gates of de Bruin's locked property. During the sampling de Bruin was unobserved for at least five minutes and when the sample was given there was a very strong smell of alcohol. This offence comes on top of de Bruin also making herself unavailable for two previous drug tests. After the four-year FINA suspension was imposed an appeal was made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and held in May 1999 in public, but on June 7, 1999 the CAS dismissed the appeal. Michelle de Bruin will not be eligible to defend her Olympic titles in the Sydney 2000 Games.

From Mark Zeigler at the San Diego Union Tribune (June 10, 1999): "Androstenedione, which is banned internationally but not by Major League Baseball, is converted to muscle-building testosterone by the liver and is not as effective as anabolic steroids. But it has one distinct advantage for elite athletes trying to avoid detection -- its chemical fingerprint in the urine generally vanishes within 24 hours, compared with three or four weeks for injectable steroids.

In early 1998, the recognized testing technology could identify the presence of a testosterone precursor but not specific types. Only in the last year has isotope ratio mass spectrometry gained approval. It uses Carbon 12 and Carbon 14 isotopes to distinguish testosterone produced naturally and testosterone artificially introduced into the body.

The isotope ratio machines are expensive, and there is just a handful in the world. One happens to be in Barcelona.

That is the home lab or Dr. Jordi Segura, the highest-ranking doping official in the International Olympic Committee. Using the new technology, he retested three de Bruin samples taken from between November 1997 and March 1998.

And all three, he claims, were positive for androstenedione. Segura estimated de Bruin had taken androstenedione 10 to 12 hours before the Guys [testers] arrived at her house."

Marion Jones is an elite US athlete, winner of multiple gold medals in the 2000 Olympics, also pretty (and the subject of Nike's "Mrs. Jones" ads from 2000). She is also connected to dopers: former husband CJ Hunter was tossed out of the Sydney games for steroid use; current boyo Tim Montgomery is also a convicted cheater. Is there a coincidence here or two completely separate situations?

Jones is claiming a witch-hunt and grandstanding by calling for an open hearing. The US Anti-Doping Agency issued this statement clarifying its procedures:

Once a matter proceeds to arbitration, USADA offers evidence to an independent panel of arbitrators and the athlete through counsel presents a defense. Ultimately, it is the arbitrators, not USADA or others, who decide what weight will be given to the evidence, what burden of proof applies, and whether an anti-doping rules violation has occurred. If the athlete is unsatisfied with the outcome of that hearing, the athlete can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and have an entirely new hearing. This process was put in place following the 2000 Olympic Games and all U.S. Olympic athletes who compete have agreed to this process.

Monk News

I've been named to the anti-idiotarian list on Little Green Footballs. That's an honor. Go check out Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs weblog from my link at left.

Calling for resignation

The NY Post blasts Judge Guido Calabrese today. Calabrese is a member of the American Constitution Society -- a liberal Constitution-as-a-living-document group set up to counter the Federalist Society, which is basically nonpartisan despite being decried as a bunch of right-wing nutters by the mainstream media. Calabrese is also a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals -- the Court that has appellate jurisdiction over federal district courts in Vermont, Connecticut and New York. Last weekend Calabrese compared Bush's win in the Bush v. Gore decision to Mussolini's and Hitler's accensions in Italy and Germany because, his honor said, "[s]omebody came to power as a result of the illegitimate acts of a legitimate institution that had the right to put somebody in power."

Now the notion that the Supreme Court acted illegally or even wrongly despite -- (1) the Florida Supreme Court's repeated rulings contravening Article II of the U.S. Constitution; (2) the illegitimate actions of the Gore campaign in Florida to taint the vote; (3) the 7-2 decision by the US Supreme Court finding equal protection violations in the Florida Supreme Court's ultimate ruling (the final 5-4 decision reversing the Florida Supreme Court was for the remedy of finalizing the vote counts, two other justices agreed with the majority that voters' rights would be violated); (4) the ultimate recounts by the media (WSJ, Miami Herald, WaPo, NYTimes, etc.) that showed Bush won Florida -- is just stupidity on stilts. A comparison of Bush's accension to Mussolini's and Hitler's is both disgusting and ridiculous on its face. Finally, Calabrese's ultimate solution -- vote out Bush because it is the only way to restore legitimacy -- is partisanship dressed up in theoretical flourish. A Bush win in the election would be no less legitimate under Calabrese's perverse theories.

Here's the rub, courtesy of the NYPost editorial: Calabrese thinks that none of this was in any way political: "I'm a judge, and so I'm not allowed to talk politics," he told the audience.

Which means he doesn't comprehend judicial propriety.

And he's not dealing with reality.

UPDATE: I just noticed that yesterday Andrew Sullivan gave Calabrese a Begala Award Nomination -- for liberal hatemongering and intentional deception named for Clinton hack Paul Begala [contrasted with the Derbyshire Award for conservative hatemongering; the Sontag Award for loopy liberalism; the poseur alert for written drivel disguised as allegedly incisive thoughts, etc.]. Go to Sullivan's site (link at left) and scroll down.

And here is Eugene Volokh on the analogy Calabrese used and its accuracy.

First Iraq, next Iran (France comes later)

The US cannot lose sight of the threats that Iran represents. Iran has already said it will nuke Israel when it gets a nuclear bomb, has recently seized British "warships" and would love to help throw the US election to Kerry. Read this piece from Iran expert Michael Ledeen.

Snatch Clean Jerk

The Monk knows da*n well that small women can kick his butt because he deals with the Monkette2B daily.

The Washington Post's Liz Clarke shows that strong women come in all shapes and sizes in this fine profile of the US's two medal-winning female weightlifters, Tara Nott Cunningham and Cheryl Haworth. Check out the picture too and don't be deceived -- if Haworth was a man, she'd be a football player because she's a large person who is also a fine athlete.

Monday, June 21, 2004

More Commission errors

Now a Commissioner is doubtful of the staff's reports because VP Cheney notified the 9-11 Commission that the government knows a high-ranking member of Saddam's militia was an al-Qaeda member. Details here.

Response and rejoinder

Stephen Hayes rips the 9-11 Commission a new one in this article reprising some of his investigative work uncovering the connections between Al-Qaeda and Iraq. Hayes' book is The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America. Go to my Amazon link at left and buy it.

Yankees all the time

Just FYI, the Yankees are 43-24 and 38 of their 67 games have been against teams with winning records. The Yanks are 23-6 against losing teams, and 20-18 (19-12 not counting their disgrace against the Red Sawx) against winning teams. The Red Sux are 39-29 but have played only 24 games against winners (13-11; 7-10 against non-Yankees) and are only 26-18 against losing teams. Put it this way: since they took their beatings from the RedSux, the Yanks are 35-13 and 15-9 against winning teams -- a .625 winning rate that would translate to 101 wins over 162 games against winning teams alone. Meanwhile, the Yanks have endured a difficult schedule while the RedSax have played 14 fewer games against good teams.

France and Iran, coordinating business and politics

This is an outrageous situation. France pushed numerous business ventures with Iran, Iran signed lucrative contracts with French businesses (Alcatel, Renault car orders) and in exchange, France arrested Iranian "militants" in France who supposedly had terrorism ties. But the "militants" were actually opponents of the Iranian theocracy. Details are here.

(Courtesy, Little Green Footballs).

Reagan and Kofi at Harvard

College (and grad school) graduation ceremonies have become politicized events seeking to indoctrinate the kids whilst the parents merely nod and smile. Alan Bromley explains.


William Safire exposes the out-of-control staff at the 9-11 Commission.

Safire shows how weak the Commission itself is: ex-NSC staffer Philip Zelikow came to the conclusion that Al-Qaeda and Iraq did not have a collaborative relationship as Safire explains:

[The report stated that] "There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship." Zelikow & Co. dismissed the reports, citing the denials of Qaeda agents and what they decided was "no credible evidence" of cooperation on 9/11.

That "no credible evidence" finding was based in large part on the DENIALS of an Iraq/al-Qaeda relationship by bin Laden lieutenants.

More Safire: That paragraph — extending doubt on 9/11 to all previous contacts — put the story on front pages. Here was a release on the official commission's letterhead not merely failing to find Saddam's hand in 9/11, which Bush does not claim. The news was in the apparent contradiction of what the president repeatedly asserted as a powerful reason for war: that Iraq had long been dangerously in cahoots with terrorists.

Then, the useless Commission head, Tom Kean, said this (from Safire's article) on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos: "Members do not get involved in staff reports."

The inmates running the asylum. No wonder the 9-11 Commission is a complete joke.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Paul Johnson, R.I.P.

Paul Johnson is an American who loved Saudi Arabia, lived in Saudi Arabia and made his home in Saudi Arabia. He is a loyal American and seems to have been a good man. He was murdered by terrorists Friday. The great Andy McCarthy had the following reaction on National Review's The Corner:

Every time you parade the Abu Ghraib photos, every time you parrot the patently ridiculous pretension by these repulsive murderers that decapitations are motivated by what those photos depict -- rather than by a belief system that exudes hatred and murder -- you are guaranteeing that there will be more Daniel Pearls, Nick Bergs and, now, Paul Johnsons. You are telling these monsters that they get a free ride: They get to kill, which they would do anyway, and they get to have you tell the world that the proximate cause of the killing is the U.S. government rather than militant Islam. Scorecard: al Qaeda - win, win; America: lose, lose; Americans: die, die.

There are two possible story lines here: choice (a) Paul Johnson was viciously beheaded today, becoming just the latest of thousands of victims slaughtered by a menace that cannot be managed, need not be culturally understood, and must be totally eradicated; or choice (b) Paul Johnson died today; an Arabic website, upon first breaking the news, explained that his death was retaliation for the scandalous abuse of Iraqi prisoners by occupying U.S. forces in Baghdad, where the Bush administration is alleged to have employed harsh interrogation tactics -- in violation of the Geneva Conventions -- in order to press for intelligence about weapons of mass destruction which have yet to be found.

Anybody have the slightest doubt which choice we'll be reading and seeing?

Ten minutes later, McCarthy followed up:

SURPRISE [Andy McCarthy]
The winner, already, is choice (b). This just in from Reuters:

After describing the three photos of "what appeared to be Paul Marshall Johnson's severed head[,]" the story elaborates:
"This act of revenge is to heal the hearts of believers in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula," the statement said.

"This is God's voice rising in anger... at the treatment of Muslims in Abu Ghraib, al-Hair (prison), Guantanamo, Ruwais (Saudi prison) and others," it added, referring to U.S. military prisons in Abu Ghraib, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Johnson was an employee of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, which manufactures U.S. helicopter gunships.

The statement said al Qaeda had killed him because of "what Muslims have suffered from American Apache planes and their rockets."


The Monk was in Cali this weekend to see some family and generally hang out. I saw the Yankees-Dodgers game on Saturday where Brad Halsey threw one bad pitch to the Dodgers -- to Hideo Nomo (the LA pitcher), who banged it out. The Yanks won 6-2, but choked Friday thanks to three unearned runs and honked tonight thanks to more bad fielding. At least the Red Sax ran into the Jason Schmidt buzzsaw today and the Yanks come home up 4.5.

BTW, nice time in Cali. One of The Monk's cousins is an aspiring HS basketball star and he routed The Monk in HORSE (Monk's decreased agility from what little previously existed prevented any one-on-one). Monk saw MaMonk and PaMonk and was bestowed with excellent artwork by aforesaid hoopologically able cousin.

Friday, June 18, 2004

The real news

Following up on Andy McCarthy's takedown of the 9-11 Commission's al-Qaeda report, read this editorial showing the most interesting issues that the press has overlooked.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

With Friends Like These

Guess who likes Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11? Hezbollah! That's right, the Iran and Syria-backed terrorists who control southern Lebanon want to help United Arab Emirates-based Front Row Entertainment with its distribution/publicity in the Arab world. The Guardian gives notice of Hezbollah's interest.

Line of the day

From Opinion's Best of the Web Today:

Testing the Limits
"In a direct challenge to federal limits on political advocacy, the National Rifle Association plans to begin broadcasting a daily radio program on Thursday to provide news and pro-gun commentary to 400,000 listeners," the New York Times reports.

In a direct challenge to federal limits on political advocacy, the New York Times Co. plans to continue publishing a daily newspaper to provide news and antigun commentary to 1.1 million readers.

al-Qaeda's friends at the 9-11 Commission

The 9-11 Commission has been a farce and continues its idiocy. Yesterday it released a staff report that included this whopper:

Bin Laden also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan . . . The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Laden to cease this support [for a free Kurdistan] and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Laden in 1994. Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded. There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior Bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.

Connect those three premises with the conclusion. Do they fit? Do the adamant denials by bin Laden's lackeys constitute credible evidence? Why did the Commission report COMPLETELY IGNORE the 1998 indictment of bin Laden that the US Government filed (and which has never been retracted) wherein the Government says: ". . . al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq." And even if the premises fit with the conclusion, does that mean that: (a) there was no such connection as the media has said; (b) more investigation is unnecessary, especially in light of the Commission's admission that it does not know if al-Qaeda had involvement in the 1993 WTC bombing that WAS instigated by Iraq?

Then, there is this information from former CIA head George Tenet in 2002:

Our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information we have received comes from detainees, including some of high rank. We have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade. Credible information indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression. Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad. We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs. Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of relationship with Al Qaeda suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.

There's even more that the 9-11 Commission staff ignored. As usual, the great Andy McCarthy has the full rundown.

MLK takes on anti-Semitism

Martin Luther King was a great man for many reasons, but one of the most important was his honesty. Here is Rep. John Lewis (who was one of Dr. King's friends) description of one incident:

During an appearance at Harvard University shortly before his death, a student stood up and asked (Dr. Martin Luther) King to address the issue of Zionism. The question was clearly hostile. King responded, 'When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.'"

Thus, Dr. King identified the cloaked anti-Semitism of the European elite and the American left. His lesson should be remembered today, and is in this article (which quotes the Lewis passage above).

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Great line

. . . from the Wongdoer regarding Paul Krugman: "he's Noam Chomsky's little brother."


His comment was in response to this blurb in today's Best of the Web today column from Opinion

Stop the Presses
"No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history." So began yesterday's Paul Krugman column in the New York Times. Boy, talk about a dog-bites-man story: Krugman, the frothing tribune of the Angry Left, denounces John Ashcroft, the man the Angry Left most loves to hate. For this they killed how many trees?

Krugman's column focuses on Ashcroft's alleged failures in dealing with terrorism, and it includes the whopper that the Ashcroft Justice Department has had an "absence of any major successful prosecutions." Columnist turned blogress Michelle Malkin notes that this is nonsense:

What about shoebomber Richard Reid? What about Taliban solider [sic] John Walker Lindh? What about Yahya Goba, Shafal Mosed, Yasein Taher, Taysal Galab, Mukhtar al-Bakri and Sahim Alwan of Lackawanna, New York? What about Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Ford, Ahmed Bilal, Muhammad Bilal, and October Lewis of Portland, Oregon? And Mike Hawash? How about Masoud Ahmad Khan, Seifullah Chapman, Yong Ki Kwon, Donald Surratt, and Hammad Abdur-Raheem from the Washington DC area? What about James Ujaama? And Iyman Faris?

The Associated Press notes that a federal court sentenced Khan, Chapman and Abdur-Raheem to life in prison, 85 years and eight years respectively--and it did so yesterday, the very day Krugman's column appeared in the Times.

No question: Paul Krugman is the worst former Enron adviser in history.

Above and beyond

When it comes to the free speech rights of the average person, I fall only a little bit short of Nat Hentoff as a First Amendment absolutist -- Free Speech must be FREE.

But the Freedom of the Press is different. From the Founders' conception it existed to prevent pre-publication censorship. Current Free Press advocates have successfully expanded the Free Press Clause of the First Amendment to include reporter shield laws exempting reporters from disclosing their confidential sources. Now the press itself wants to fight against confirming its own work. If the press will not stand by its own articles under oath, in court, why should anyone believe what it prints? If the press will not work within the confines of the US legal system, is there a credible argument that it is not merely a special entity but also an active anti-governmental institution?

These questions arise from this situation and analysis from the Volokh Conspiracy (scroll down on June 15):

InstaPundit points to a story about journalists' refusal to testify in the trial of Lynne Stewart, a lawyer who alleged helped her client — a convicted terrorist leader — communicate with his followers:

Prosecutors issued subpoenas to four reporters at Reuters, The New York Times and Newsday, saying they want the reporters to testify that lawyer Lynne Stewart said what they quoted her as saying in their articles.

Newspaper articles on their own are not admissible because they are considered hearsay.

Lawyers for the reporters have argued that making the reporters testify would compromise their neutrality by forcing them to side with prosecutors.

In a Reuters story from earlier this month, journalists raised still more objections:

* * *

Reporters say that without their privilege to refuse to disclose even non-confidential information, based on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, they cannot do their job.

"Our sources will dry up if sources . . . think that anything they tell us will be repeated against them in court. Why would you speak to a reporter if those words are going to be read back against you in court?" said George Freeman, in-house counsel for The New York Times.

"We are supposed to be the watchdog of our government, not its lap dog, so we shouldn't be in bed with it testifying," Freeman said. . . .

[Volokh's comment]: Now I think there are good arguments for a journalists' privilege, though I'm ultimately somewhat skeptical about it. If journalists can't credibly promise confidentiality to confidential sources, they may find it much harder to gather important information. And the legal system does recognize some privileges — for instance, lawyers' privileges, psychotherapists' privileges, clergy-penitent privileges, and husband-wife privileges — that try to foster certain relationships even at the expense of the search for truth in trials.

But this is a pretty weak case for asserting such a privilege. The government wants to ask the reporters what Lynne Stewart said to them for purposes of publication — it wants to confirm that the quotes that the reporters published are indeed what Stewart said. If you expect your words to be in the New York Times, you likely won't be terribly surprised or concerned that they may end up being quoted in court as well.

This has little to do with the ability to keep confidential information that really is confidential (such as the identity of a confidential source). If the concern is that the reporters will be asked for truly confidential material, then the solution is to ask the court to bar such questioning, not to refuse to testify altogether, including about the clearly nonconfidential material.

More broadly, the New York Times lawyer's rhetoric here, about not being the "lap dog" of the government or "in bed with" the government, is just appalling. All of us, as citizens (or even noncitizens), generally have a duty to testify when called on to do so. That duty is part of the legal system's attempt to learn the truth, and provide justice to the government and to individuals alike.

* * *

Nor does a citizen become a "lap-dog" of the government, or get "in bed with" the government, because he does his duty (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), and helps the jury learn the truth about what happened. It seems to me arrogant, contemptuous, and contemptible for media representatives to suggest otherwise — to suggest that there's something base or some sort of sell-out in a person's responding to a subpoena.

Poverty and affluence in the US and Europe

Europe and its standards of living, leisure time, insurance, etc. are held up by liberals and Europhiles as exemplars of what America should strive toward emulating. But that notion is farcical in the extreme. The European healthcare systems are much worse than our own, the "uninsured" rate in America is woefully overstated as I wrote about yesterday, and the average European is much poorer than the average American. Here are the supporting stats from the CIA Factbook as of December 2003, on Results: US per capita income is just shy of $36K, Germany, France and Sweden are all near $26K, the UK is around $25,500, Italy at $25K and Spain just over $21K.

In today's Wall Street Journal (note, link may not work because the WSJ is a pay site), the editors discuss a study "The EU vs. USA" by the Swedish thinktank Timbro. Some findings: (1) the average American spends about $9,700 more than the average European on consumption per year -- "Americans, therefore, have by far more cars, TVs, computers etc. than Europeans. 'Most Americans have a standard of living which the majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near,' the study says." (2) In 2000, U.S. GDP per capita was a whopping 32% higher than the EU average. Europe's standing hasn't improved since then.

In addition, here's the facts about impoverished America -- in 1959, 22% of Americans lived below the poverty line, today that level is 12%. Of America's poor (those earning less than $25,000 per year), "45.9% own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, still considered a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor ones, is 1,000 square feet."

Time to face the facts.

Wisdom of youth

Ben Shapiro is 20, just graduated UCLA and is going to Harvard Law School. He also writes a syndicated column.

Today's offering is well worth the read. For decades Jews in America have been reliable Democratic voters. Much of this comes from their union affiliations in the 30s through the 70s and their loyalty to FDR (who liberated Europe) and Truman (who recognized the nascent Israel despite his State Department's objections). FDR's contribution to Jewish history is suspect -- he turned back a boatload of Jews from Europe fleeing the Holocaust, refused to let Jews emigrate to the US in increasing numbers in the 30s and early 40s for fear of insulting German emigres in the US, refused to bomb the transportation lines to Auschwitz, and held off entering the US in World War II until Japan forced his hand.

Today, such loyalty is misplaced. Most American Jews are Israelophiles and so are Republican presidents (other than Bush 41) but Democratic presidents are not. LBJ was no friend of Israel and restrained Israel from winning an even greater victory in the Six-Day War in 1967. Nixon (who was basically anti-Semitic), however, helped rescue Israel in 1973 by approving sending arms and food during the Yom Kippur War. Carter supported "Palestinian" rights and stood idly by when the Iranian coup installed the Hitlerian mullahocracy in Teheran. Since his presidency, Carter has been actively anti-Israel and pro-Arafat.

Reagan supported Israel immensely; Bush 41 did not but Clinton actively undermined Israel by coddling Arafat and pressing for unilateral Israeli concessions in the modern-day Munich land-for-peace deal. Bush 43 is the most pro-Israel president since Reagan and probably third on the list behind Reagan and Truman.

More importantly, however, Shapiro shows that the threat to Judaism and Jews throughout the world is from secularist liberalism and radical Islam -- diametrically opposed philosophies that nonetheless work hand-in-glove (see International Solidarity Movement), not ultra-conservative Christianity. Here's one key point:

Jews have a long history of liberalism in America, dating from a day when conservatives were "country-club Republicans" and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was deified. Those days are long past. Elderly Jews should realize that FDR is dead and that his party no longer stands for tolerance.

It was Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, who claimed that a Jewish cabal stood behind the Iraq war. It was former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat from Georgia, who took money from anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorist supporters during her candidacy for Congress. It was Vermont's Howard Dean, a Democrat, who labeled Hamas members "soldiers." It was Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, who was once Grand Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan. It was Sen. Ernest Hollings, a Democrat from South Carolina, who blamed the Iraq war on pro-Israeli interests.

* * *
It was the Nazis who were the secularists -- their sophisticated secularism led millions of Jews to gas chambers. The waves upon waves of white crosses marking the resting places of American dead pay silent tribute to the fact that American Christians, not secularists, died to liberate the death camps.

It was the communists who were secularists -- their hatred for God led thousands of Jews to the gulag. The fields of white crosses that dot the globe mark the burial sites of American Christians who died to keep the world free from that vicious system of government

Read it all.

Reagan and AIDS -- destroying the myth

Read this piece from Brent Bozell on the AIDS myth and the press' continual misrepresentation of the Reagan record.

A Los Angeles Times story suggested "many gay men like playwright Jon Bastian still feel Reagan 'did nothing, basically' about the AIDS epidemic that exploded during his eight years as president." Reporters like CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta also lied: "The first time President Reagan would utter the word AIDS in public would be well into his second term, six years after the virus was discovered."

Some AIDS activists in the 1980s never had anything but vicious blame for Reagan. Some still do. The Advocate magazine is touting its forthcoming essay by extremist playwright Larry Kramer titled "Adolf Reagan." It begins: "Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even."

The real Reagan record on AIDS is different. AIDS funding skyrocketed in the 1980s, almost doubling each year from 1983 -- when the media started blaring headlines -- from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million, and then $1.6 billion in 1988. Reagan's secretary of Health and Human Services in 1983, Margaret Heckler, declared AIDS her department's "number one priority." While the House of Representatives was Democrat-dominated throughout the 1980s, which Democrats would quickly explain was the source of that skyrocketing AIDS funding, Reagan clearly signed the spending bills that funded the war on AIDS.

While he's at it, Bozell also destroys the fiction from Jesse Jackson that Reagan's 1980 speech in Mississippi was racist:
on the day after the supposedly racist-encouraging Mississippi speech, Reagan traveled to New York for a speech to the Urban League, where the Washington Post reported on August 5, 1980, that Reagan declared, "I am committed to the protection of the civil rights of black Americans. That commitment is interwoven into every phase of the programs I will propose." Adviser Martin Anderson explained Reagan would uphold ongoing "affirmative action" programs. Do those sound like code words for Southern racists? That might explain why the story didn't become much of a left-wing legend back in the 1980s.

NBA title = Not for Phil

I've disliked Phil Jackson since his zen bulls-t and whining about the Knicks in the 1990s. So I am pleased that the Lakers were thrashed in the NBA Finals by the ugly-ball Pistons.

The best thing about the Pistons, however, was their attitude. Only Rasheed Wallace is a big-name star, and he is for many wrong reasons (his tantrums on the court). Ben Wallace is a Division II ox who was largely overlooked and worked his way into being a top defender and team leader. Chauncey Billups was a high draft pick who bounced around with a bunch of teams and never quite fit until landing in Detroit. Rip Hamilton was a college star with skills and determination who was deemed a 'tweener -- too small for wing forward, not good enough with the ball in his hands for shooting guard. So much for all that -- the Pistons came together, played great defense (especially Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince), outworked and outhustled the Lakers and whacked the overwhelming favorite in what is probably the biggest sports finals-series upset since the '69 Mets. The Pistons' fans had it right -- this was the first five-game sweep (the Pistons honked game 2 with a defensive lapse) in the history of four-of-seven series. Kudos.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Eric Breindel was the editorial page editor for the New York Post. After he passed away, the Post established an award in his honor for "the columnist, editorialist or reporter whose work best reflects the spirit of the writings by Eric Breindel: love of country and its democratic institutions as well as the act of bearing witness to the evils of totalitarianism." The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger is the most recent recipient and the columns that earned him that award are here.

Congratulations Mr. Henninger.

Michael Newdow is right and wrong

Yes, atheists are outsiders in America. But so are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Mormons, etc. Why? Because the US is a Christian country. Prof. Samuel Huntington shows the unique role of Judeo-Christian values in the US, the false concept of the US as a secular nation, and the high religiosity of the world's most advanced country in this article.

This about says it all

Dick Morris wrote a paean to the UKIP in the NY Post after that party's success in the UK's EU Parliament elections, which naturally blasted the EU and EUrocrats.

Here's the article.

And here's the key 'graf:
Bismarck said that whenever somebody appealed to him to do something in the name of Europe, he noticed that it was something they dared not ask in their own name. So it is today. The socialists and anti-democratic bureaucrats who predominate in the EU dare not squelch British independence directly, so they are seeking to coat it over with a binding Europe-wide nation committed to largely French and German policies of appeasement, high taxes and government regulation.

Solace and rising tide?

For those of you worrying about Pres. Bush's reelection (i.e., that it will NOT happen), take some solace from this past week. Here is economist and editorialist Irwin Stelzer on the G8 Summit in Georgia and the UN:

All of [the recent events are] a misfortune for John Kerry. His campaign rests on a three-legged stool. The first leg is that Bush is a job-destroyer; but the economy has created almost one million jobs in the past three months, and is probably adding better than 10,000 every day. The second leg is that Bush has antagonized America's allies and is isolated; the 15-0 Security Council vote to recognize the Bush-backed Iraqi government saws that leg off. The final leg is that the Bush tax cuts have been a disaster. Ronald Reagan's death has brought renewed attention to the fact that the late president's tax cuts helped to end the recession he inherited from Jimmy Carter, just as Bush's cuts kept the Clinton recession short and mild.

Feel any better yet, wongdoer?

Nourishment for your cerebellum

Two don't misses today: Prof. Douglas Kmiec on "authorization" for Abu Ghraib and Mark Steyn on the European elections.

First, Prof. Kmiec's key points:

There is much talk about whether the attorney general or Secretary Rumsfeld or maybe even the president gave the signal to torture detainees of the present war. Much of this talk is centered on a March 6, 2003, Pentagon working-group memorandum and an August 2002 Justice memo that have now to one degree or another been made public. The talk is overheated. It suggests that these scholarly but highly speculative background considerations somehow signaled to enlisted personnel on duty that night at Abu Ghraib that it was okay to engage in abusive behavior.

* * *

There is nothing in the memoranda to suggest that torture — as international and domestic law defines it — was recommended, or that the president or any other high-ranking or even mid-rank officer approved of cruel and abusive behavior. Quite the contrary: While examining the extent of presidential authority in the worst-case scenarios of wartime, the authors affirm that "malicious and sadistic use of force always violates contemporary standards of decency and would constitute cruel and unusual punishment."

Andrew Sullivan has been in a lather about this issue and has completely missed the point -- these memos are what any responsible official government must produce: research, policy and insight as to what it can legally and morally do in furthering the protections of its citizens.

Next, Steyn's column on the British results of the EU elections. Here's the key concept: European elites reject any view of the EU that isn't staunchly favorable, thus they have become an insular clique that disdains actual competition in the marketplace of ideas (the parallel to University professors in the US is obvious). And the problem has had certain manifestations:

In much of western Europe, on all the issues that matter, competitive politics decayed to a rotation of arrogant co-regents of an insular elite, with predictable consequences: if the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain issues, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones . . .

[A]lready Britain's lunatic mainstream is lapsing back into its customary condescension on this issue. If your views on Europe don't fall between the broad parameters from, oh, Neil Kinnock to Chris Patten, you must be barking mad and we need pay you no further heed. The political class has refined Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death my right not to have to listen to you say it. Are you still here?

This is unworthy of a democracy, and more to the point deeply unhealthy. One reason why the Eutopian dream has fizzled across the Continent is because the entire political class took it for granted no right-thinking person could possibly disagree with them, so they never felt they had to bother arguing the case and, now they have to, they can't remember what the arguments were . . .

Almost every Europhile argument is weaker now than it was a quarter-century ago, when the EU - or whatever it was called back then - had a stronger economy, healthier demographics, and the devastating implications of the Continent's social costs were not yet plain. Yet pro-Europeans remain wedded to their ancient arguments: for a good decade and a half Edward Heath in his tetchier moments has airily waved the interviewer's question aside and said all these things were decided in the 1970s and we need to get on with it. Otherwise, Britain will be "isolated in the world" and unable to survive unless it allows its relatively buoyant economy to be yoked in perpetuity to the FrancoGerman statist gerontocracy.

Read the whole piece.

Europe is for the Dutch, Irish, Italians . . .

The big news across the pond is the European Union parliamentary elections. The bigger news is the success of conservative and anti-EU parties in those elections. In Britain, the Tories won 27 seats, Labour 19 (a whipping for PM Blair) and the anti-EU UK Independence Party won 12. The anti-Iraq war Liberals also won 12 -- that means 39 for conservatives, 12 for anti-war vote, 19 for Blair. Results are here.

In Poland, the anti-EU League of Polish Families took the second-largest number of seats and the Euroskeptic Self-Defense of Poland Party came in third.

In Italy, Euroskeptics also made significant gains.

And in Germany, Schroeder's governing Social Democrats were crushed.

Naturally, there has been much spin -- mostly anti-Blair and anti-Berlusconi comments claiming that their support for the US hurt their parties (although wins for the Tories and UKIP are not really anti-US votes) while "local issues" accounted for the poor showing of Schroeder's and Chirac's parties. Aussie blogger Arthur Chrenkoff breaks down the spinning on his page.

Canard is not just French for duck

The most prominent canard recycled by advocates of socialized medicine in the US -- Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, single-payer system supporters -- is the "44 million" people without health insurance in the US. David Hogberg puts the lie to that by showing: (1) 20% of the "44 million" are not US citizens; (2) the Congressional Budget Office statistics show 21-31 million uninsured; (3) failure to count certain Medicaid recipients; (4) the temporary nature of many "uninsured" folks' status. Read the whole piece.

Monday, June 14, 2004

More Reagan

The Weekly Standard is a few days late, but certainly not a dollar short, with seven articles on President Reagan on-line today. One of the seven is Baroness Thatcher's eulogy from last Friday's funeral ceremony, which I didn't link to then only because I was in the midst of Reagan tributes and hadn't read it through yet. But, as we all know, the Iron Lady always gets the big picture:

With the lever of American patriotism, he lifted up the world. And so today the world--in Prague, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Sofia, in Bucharest, in Kiev, and in Moscow itself--the world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and echoes his prayer, "God Bless America."

The Monkette2B and I were in Prague and Budapest last year and we can attest that the Czechs and Magyars are happy that the Great Liberator served his country and the world.

Also, DO NOT MISS this interview with Anatoly Shcharansky, now known as Natan Sharansky -- the former Soviet dissident imprisoned in the Soviet gulags on false charges of spying for the US in 1978 and released thanks to US pressure in 1986 -- he is now a minister without portfolio in Israel. Here is an excerpt:

[On hearing, while imprisoned, of Reagan's election:] We had very mixed feelings at first. Remember, we accepted it as a given that Jimmy Carter was the world's great human rights advocate. Only later, after we saw what words without action can mean, did it occur to us that words were all he could offer. But to his credit, it was Jimmy Carter who insisted on keeping the issue in the international spotlight. Remember, prior to him, no one seemed willing to offer even words. All we knew about Reagan was that he was a poorly regarded actor, and after living for so long in an Orwellian world where play-acting was all we ever experienced from our own leaders, the very fact that Reagan was an actor, I will say, left us far more concerned than encouraged at first.

[Q.]Were there any particular Reagan moments that you can recall being sources of strength or encouragement to you and your colleagues?

I have to laugh. People who take freedom for granted, Ronald Reagan for granted, always ask such questions. Of course! It was the great brilliant moment when we learned that Ronald Reagan had proclaimed the Soviet Union an Evil Empire before the entire world. There was a long list of all the Western leaders who had lined up to condemn the evil Reagan for daring to call the great Soviet Union an evil empire right next to the front-page story about this dangerous, terrible man who wanted to take the world back to the dark days of the Cold War. This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell's Newspeak was dead. President Reagan had from that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union.

Can't stand it

Michael Newdow, the male heir of Madalyn Murray O'Hair as the atheist that even fellow atheists wish would be smited, lost his ridiculous attempt to have "under G'd" stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance because he lacked standing to sue. The Supreme Court reversed the clueless Ninth Circuit and held that because Newdow isn't even his daughter's legal guardian (momma is the custodial parent), he cannot use her to try to delegitimize the Pledge. The decision: 8-0 with Scalia not sitting; three justices (CJ Rehnquist, O'Connor and Thomas) said that if the Court had reached the merits, they would have upheld the reference to G'd in the Pledge.

Some mind vitamins

First, Michael Ledeen asks why we're not doing anything about Iran -- a companion piece to the Opinion Journal edit I linked to in an earlier entry (see below).

Next, Victor Davis Hanson on the cycle of indecision and hesitation plaguing our response to terrorism.

And don't miss Mark Steyn on Thatcher and Reagan.

Sports quick thoughts

France got its revenge for its humiliating emancipation at the hands of the English (and US, natch) in 1944 -- a 2-1 win against England in the Euro 2004 tournament group play. And the English royally honked this one: up 1-0 with 16+ minutes left, David Beckham with a penalty shot and . . . he blows it! No 2-0 lead and sealed up win. In the first minute of stoppage time, France's Zinedine Zidane arcs a free kick in for the tying score; two minutes later, he gets a penalty kick and buries it. The difference between Zidane and Beckham? One is the best player in Europe, the other's just the most famous.

In baseball, the AL has smacked around the NL through the first week of interleague play -- and home-field means only so much because the AL has won about 65% of the games. Most notable things that NL teams learned this week: (1) the Reds are completely smoke and mirrors -- they allowed 64 runs in 6 games (losses) to Oakland (without Chavez) and Cleveland, at better pitchers' parks than Cincy's own Great American Smallpark; and Oakland and Cleveland are AT MAXIMUM the 8th and 9th best offenses in the AL (top 7, unordered = Yanks, RedSux, WhiteSux, O's, J's, Rangers, Angels) -- worse yet, the Reds' opponents now realize that too; (2) the Padres can run with the big dogs -- they went 2-4 in Boston and New York but should have been at least 3-3 and could have been 5-1; (3) the Dodgers need more hitting -- after getting stymied by the BlueJays and RedSux, the Dodgers had 3 games where they scored once, and a shutout loss to the J's in their 6-game trip to Toronto and Boston; even a 14-run explosion on Saturday lifted their total to 23 runs in six games in hitters' ballparks.

And the worst of all options

From the fiddling while Rome burns department: check out this Opinion Journal edit regarding Iran's impending ascension to the ranks of nuclear powers. I'm hoping the Israelis are ready to make a second Osirak-type run, and that they ignore any US objections to such an operation.

The Uniqueness of the EU

This is pretty sharp. From the headline ("Now I can Get Back to Ignoring You") to this great quote:

Lack of accountability is inherent in the EU. You will sometimes hear it said that the Commission, the EU's governing body, is undemocratic. In fact, uniquely in the Western world, it contrives to be anti-democratic, in the sense that you generally have to lose an election to be sent there: witness Neil Kinnock or Chris Patten.

The author is Daniel Hannan, himself a member of the European Parliament (according to the link from National Review's the Corner). The full article is available here.